Content marketing strategy isn’t a “nice to have”—it’s a requirement. Recent research from the Content Marketing Institute found that more than 80% of B2B marketers say they have a content marketing strategy, but only a third have documented that very same content marketing strategy. Let’s fix that.
This presentation is drawn from our work here at Convince & Convert, where we create content marketing strategy for some of the best-known brands in the world. (If we can help you, please let us know.)
In practice, of course, creating a fully functional content marketing plan requires meaningful time and effort (usually 60 days or so for us), but I sincerely hope that this presentation and the seven steps it outlines will help you take your own content marketing plan to the next level of success.
Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps
Here’s a summary of each of the seven steps in creating content marketing strategy your customers will LOVE:
1. Determine Objectives for Content Marketing
Why are you doing this at all? What is content going to do for your organization? Create awareness? Generate leads? Improve loyalty and retention?
Remember: The goal isn’t to be good at content marketing. The goal is to be good at business because of content marketing.
2. What’s Your One Thing?
What will you create in your content marketing program that sets you apart? There is an enormous glut of content (and more on the way). Will you be disproportionately useful? Will you create Youtility (I say YES!). Will you be disproportionately motivational, inspirational, or otherwise? What is the heart and soul of your content program?
Remember: Give yourself permission to make the story BIGGER.
3. Measure Your Content Marketing
Your objectives dictate your metrics. If you’re trying to generate awareness, measure that. Use the 4 categories of content marketing metrics to create a measurement framework that matters.
Remember: If you want to track behavior, you must do something trackable.
4. Define Your Audiences
Your objectives also dictate your audiences. Use personas to model the audiences for your content marketing. Understand them like you understand your family.
Remember: You are not your audience.
5. Research Audience Needs
What do your audiences need to know from you? Use search and social media, plus conversations with customers and your internal personnel (sales and customer service, especially), to better understand the information and persuasive requirements of your customers. Then, organize those needs by persona and funnel stage to create a map of necessary content.
Remember: Don’t settle for data—get real insights. This requires customer conversations, not just spreadsheet mining.
6. Create a Content Execution Plan
Use personas and customer conversations to determine optimal content modalities. Where and how do your audiences consume information? Understand that, depending upon the funnel stage, customers will need different types of content. Build a plan that shows what content you’ll create daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly (free content calendar tool).
Remember: Always define calls-to-action. What do you want your content consumers to do NEXT?
7. Create a Content Amplification Plan
The reality is that just creating content isn’t enough. In many cases, you need to amplify it. You need to market your marketing. This is where social media can help a great deal. Also recognize the many places (and many people—customers, employees, influencers) that can help you amplify your content marketing. (Bonus: Presentation on the difference between influencers and advocates)
Remember: Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.
I hope you benefit from this presentation and framework for developing a content marketing strategy. If you liked this one, you might like our free ebook on the 4 types of content marketing metrics, or my presentation on why it might be time to completely change your social media strategy.